7th April 2012
Luke 9:23. Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (NIV)
There was a Christian bookstore owner in the USA, who learned that gifted evangelist, preacher, scholar and Christian statesman John Stott had written a new book with the title, The Cross of Christ. Immediately he ordered a large supply.
However the book did not sell. To help sell the books he cut the price by 50%. Finally having no success he packed them all up and sent them back to the publisher.
It appears to me that people aren’t rejecting John Stott as much as they are rejecting an issue that they don’t want to confront. If that cross is gold-plated and peppered with diamonds or other jewels, they seem to have a ready market. But drape that cross with self-denial and self-rejection and its popularity begins to disintegrate.
In Luke 9:23 Jesus conversation with the disciples is recorded. Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. This was not the first time that Jesus talked about this subject because the word Luke uses indicates repetition.
A former president of Asbury College, Dennis Kenlaw had this to say. “The reason the world has not yet felt the full impact of the Gospel is because we, Christ’s disciples, are willing to sacrifice anything but ourselves. Through His grace, we must take our hands off our lives and say, ‘Spend me as You will.’”
I don’t believe that we have to necessarily physically suffer for our sins, because Jesus did that! But I do believe we have to push self aside allowing Christ to live within us and guide us. Some take lent seriously and some don’t know it exists. But it is not enough to get up each day and say, “Lord Jesus, I want You to be first in my life today.” However putting that into reality and allowing it to really happen is.
What does the Cross mean to you? Have you picked up your Cross? Do You put others first?
Written by John Gummer – Idea taken from Today can be the Best Day – Harold J Sala